Unfortunately, politics is dirty at times
by Jack McNeely
Mar 11, 2012 | 815 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jack McNeely
Jack McNeely
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Walker County is abuzz this week after the “Conservative Truth Alliance” based in Montgomery published several ads calling to question the allegiance of three local office-seekers to the conservative Grand Old Party.

According to the political action group, District Judge candidate Deb Capps, District 1 Commissioner candidate Patrick Suchey and District 2 Commissioner candidate Davey Reed are “wolves in sheep’s clothing”, or liberals claiming to be conservatives.

The series of ads has stoked a firestorm of debate in Walker County. And, rightfully so! Usually, mudslinging campaigns are reserved for state and national campaigns, not so much for local races.

Needless to say, I’ve had several visits and phone calls regarding the negative ad campaign. Of course, unless ads include something that I deem libelous, they will be published.

Such was the case with the “Wolves” ad that published last Sunday. I noticed that Montgomery-based Public Strategy Associates — the agency that created the campaign — had used the phrase “corrupt liberals” in the ad. I told them the ad would not publish unless the word “corrupt” was removed. They agreed, and the ad was published.

(Unfortunately, when we made the correction at the Daily Mountain Eagle, we inadvertently misspelled Mr. Patrick Suchey’s last name directly under his picture. Many people think the campaign folks intentionally misspelled his name, but that was not the case. I personally apologize to Mr. Suchey and his family for any inconvenience that error may have caused.)

Meanwhile, both sides of a campaign have a right to campaign, either positively or negatively. The Daily Mountain Eagle is just one vehicle in which they can purchase advertising space to reach their constituents. I will not suppress one side in favor of the other. Everyone has the same opportunity to positively promote their platform or attack their opposition. At the end of the day, a candidate’s goal is to obtain at least one more vote than their opponent.

This brings me back to the premise of the Conservative Truth Alliance campaign, that Capps, Suchey and Reed are actually liberals trying to be elected in the Republican Primary. Ask each candidate, and, of course, they will tell you they are conservative.

I few weeks back I wrote about Rotary’s 4-Way Test. The first, and purest, test is, “Is it the truth?” So I set out this week to find out in which primary, each candidate in question, voted during the past three local election cycles. I also inquired about the primary participation of their respective Republican opponents — Greg Williams, Keith Davis and Michelle Pendley.

Unfortunately, I found out that ballots and polling sign-in sheets are destroyed 23 months following an election. Therefore, I cannot report with certainty in which primary the respective candidates participated. But it’s likely that many Republican candidates once participated in the Democratic Primary, the party of choice here not so long ago.

As for me, Walker County has been home for all but six weeks. I personally have not had any time to establish an alliance to any candidate. But one thing is certain; I will absorb the campaign rhetoric and decide for myself prior to casting my vote this Tuesday. I encourage our readers to do the same.

Jack McNeely is Publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle and can be reached by phone at 205-221-2840 or via email at jack.mcneely@mountaineagle.com.